Apple has repeatedly refused to include Facebook’s gaming app on its App Store. This is according to a report from the New York Times, which states that Apple has refused at least five iterations of Facebook Gaming, citing its rules that prohibit apps whose main purpose is to distribute casual games.
Two of the Times’ sources claimed that Facebook’s app may have been hurt by appearing to compete with Apple’s sales of games. The App Store is currently the only officially approved place for Apple owners to find games and other apps, and the store generated around $15 billion last year.
This rejection of Facebook gaming is indicative of Apple’s power over the mobile ecosystem. This power has lead to the European Commission recently launching a formal antitrust investigation into the App Store and Apple Pay this week to see if its practices were anti-competitive – a move that that Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney welcomed.
“We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers,” said Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission executive vice president in charge of competition policy.
Though Apple has pushed back against this: “It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else. We don’t think that’s right — we want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed,” said Apple’s Josh Rosenstock.